One would expect that when prehistoric man first attempted to plant a seed or seedling he dug into the ground with his hands. Finding that to be not only hard on the hands, but also futile, he probably graduated to some sort of sharpened stick. And so the first garden tool was devised. It is believed that the grapevine was the first woody plant pruned by man.
First Discovered in China
This supposedly took place in Asia Minor around 6000 B.C. Then about 5000 years later history records bronze spades being used in China. Since then new tools were invented and of course in modern times there is a plethora of hand tools and many types of mechanized garden tools.
Even the essential good quality garden tools are expensive if we find ourselves replacing them because we did not properly care for them the first time around.
Keeping you garden tools in excellent shape requires only a few simple tasks. Here are the tasks required to effectively care for them:
- Clean tools regularly
- Lubricate the metal and wooden parts
- Sharpen the tools
- Keep tools in good repair
Remove all of the soil from your tools after using them. A screw driver or wire bush should be used to loosen the dirt or other material such as chemicals or debris that is wedged into any part of the tool. All dirt and foreign material should be hosed off them. They should then be thoroughly dried.
Lubricate Your Tools
Once the tools have been cleaned and dried, they should be thoroughly lubricated. They can be sprayed with household oil or penetrating oil.
The wood handles on the tools should be maintained. If the handles have become rough, sand them to remove the rough spots. Once the handles are smooth rub in a light coat of linseed oil.
The tools should be sharpened. You can sharpen them yourself or take them to a professional sharpener. There is plenty of information available from your garden store or on the web to teach you to sharpen them.
Finally, keep them in good repair. Tighten the bolts on you garden cart and wheelbarrow. If they have pneumatic tires, check the air. Replace cracked wooden handles on hoes, rakes and spades. Remove all rust from the metal parts of your tools. Patch or replace leaky hoses on your spraying and motorized equipment.
Garden tools have come a very long ways from ancient times. It is best for you to maintain all of them properly in order to avoid the cost of replacement.
By Larry Gildea